I don’t know how Perry recovers after last night’s debate. Three things are now true:
1) Palin has an even bigger opening to get into this race. Long ago my belief was that her overall strategy was to let each front runner or media sensation implode on their own (and release her own oppo research to help accomplish this) so that she could enter late into a damaged field. If I was right, she just watched the last giant (Perry) wound himself enough that Palin could announce as the front runner.
2) Perry probably won’t lose supporters because of last night, but his momentum is likely stopped dead in its tracks. I suspect he’ll hover around 25% to 35% in national GOP primary polls for a little while without much change until Palin decides whether to enter the race or not.
3) Romney and Bachman have new life. Huntsman probably has a better chance in New Hampshire the more Perry says crazy things.